Friday, August 13, 2010


What do you do when you heart aches so much for that one person and...there's not a damned thing you can do? What do you do when all you want to do is place a big life-sized band-aid across that person's heart to mend all that is wrong?

I am almost to my breaking point. You military wives know what I mean...everything that can go wrong, has gone more thing and you swear you're going to retreat into the fetal position for the remainder of deployment. But of course, you don't. We don't. I won't. I will continue to endure, as a sailor's wife must.

Wipe your feet on my shirt before you bruise my heart, cruel, harsh world.

It's been awhile since my last post. I have tried to sit down and write a complete thought...and it just doesn't work. The thoughts in my head are like a train station run amuck during the holiday path, no directions...several false starts, and no "umph" to organize and actual route.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Deployment Jitters

So deployment is looking closer and closer. I'm more afraid this deployment than the five we've already gone through. Why? I have no idea. I guess it's the fact that last deployment I thought I had a support system but when I needed someone, there was ... no one.
Two years ago, my world came crashing down around me. I'd call to talk to my mom but she was in her own crisis taking care of Jack. I'd call to talk to my dad, but there was always drama there and it felt as if no one was hearing me. My friends, pretty much dropped off the face of the earth. The only ones that bothered to come over, call or what have you, seemed to be full of drama.
And so, I became reclusive. I failed to really connect with anyone because I didn't want to. I failed to let anyone really in. The people I met during that time didn't really get to know who I really was. They met the frail, pathetic, stressed-the-fuck-out me.  I had to wipe my plate clean, so to speak, and start anew. I had to focus on what mattered most to me: my kids, my husband, and myself. I did a lot of soul searching.
There were times I had no choice but to take my children with me to the ER. The ER nurse looked at me and said, "Is there someone you can call to take your children while you are being seen?" Uh no. There isn't. It's just me, myself and I and all three of us has borderline pneumonia so can we hurry it up some before my children grow bored and tear this hospital apart?
I fear, I suppose, that I will end up in the same situation as before: alone, stressed, and looking fifty years older by the time he returns.
This mission is more dangerous than the others. This, worries me. I've always held on to the fact that my husband is Navy and he's better off on a boat than on the ground. But, it some sense he isn't. And with this mission, yeah....not so much. I am very fearful for his life and his safety.
These short couple of weeks here, few weeks there workups he's been doing has really torn our family a bit. The boys are much older now, which doesn't make it any easier at all. Nyla understands somewhat, but the other day she said, "Daddy goes away because of us." I grabbed her up and told her that was not so. I held her close and told her that it's just his job, that he loves us and he loves her so very much. I cried when I told Jeff later that night. To Aden, Jeff is like this monumental figure that deserves his own holiday. He's high on this pedastal in Aden's eyes. The boy wants to be just like him one day. I'll ask if he's ok, and he'll just stand up straight, careful not to look into my eyes, and say he's just fine. Jonas, is a bit more difficult. Anyone can see the emotional struggle on his face, yet he won't voice it and he buttons those lips tight.
Just thinking of last deployment, the conversations we've had with the kids about the upcoming deployment, the ache in my soul feels as if my heart is going to leap out of my chest.
Anyone who reads this must know this: I am not one to whine about deployments and woe is me, my husband is military. That is not me at all. This blog, it serves as my outlet. Sometimes it's much easier to write than to voice it outloud. I know single parents, and thousands of military spouses go through this and much worse. Perhaps I'm only spoiled in the fact that I do have my husband home so much. Perhaps I'm a bit selfish in wanting a "normal" life, whatever that is.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Ok so most everyone who knows me, knows that we are having a bunch of changes coming up this year. Jeff's going on a lengthy deployment, Nyla - the youngest munchkin - is blazing shoes off to kindergarten next school year, I'll be making a lonnnnnnnnnnnnng trip with 3 kids and a dog to Indiana to visit the moms, I'm taking up photography, havnig a bunch of empty time when Nyla's at school.....

I love writing. I LOVE it...but, I also LOVE youtube. I can get lost in there for days.
I thought, that maybe, since I already have a youtube channel that only has five videos on there (three aren't even videos, they're picture montages), that I could convert it into a sort of Navy Wife video blog - VLOG - of sorts. Maybe like video diary type of thing, an inside view of a military wife's life while her husband is deployed typa thing...

But then I got to thinking...this could be a joint venture....There are so many branches that are so very different. The rules, the bases, the areas, the deployments, workups, drills, exercises, etc. Maybe - with a little help from my friends (get it? I love that song) - it could be a handful of us gals vlogging on our particular military lifestyle...I'd have to figure out details and how to use multi-users, etc. But, it COULD work...right?  The idea isn't very original...there are all sorts of vlogs about everyday life in {insert topic here} and there is that show Army Wives...but let's face it, that show is NOTHING like a real military wife's life.

Anyway, let me know what you think....My mind is running rampid with ideas. If you think it's a horrid idea....let me know!!

Anyone know of a good video editing software program???

Sunday, January 31, 2010

My children...

To the boys:  "You have a younger sister. Life will be forever dramatic from this point out."

To Nyla:  "No. The kitty really doesn't love you. She's not your best friend. I should have named you Elvira."

To Jonas:  "Learning to get along doesn't mean give in."
To Nyla: "Learning to get along doesn't mean whine until your brother gives in."
To Aden: "Avoiding your little sister is not how to get along with her."

To all the kids: "You better learn to love each other now, because one day I won't be here and you'll only have each other."
Aden: "Not if we don't live through puberty."
Me: "Good point."

To Nyla: "I understand vengeance is on your list of things to do. Hence, you will not be in charge of my medication nor picking my nursing home when I finally go senile."

To Aden: " "Taking the easy way out does get the job done. But, doing it the right way, is actually less work. No. No. I'm not washing the floors by hand. I know, it does a better job, but I'm just going to use the mop. What? No. I'm not taking the easy way out."

To Jonas: "If you have aches and pains now, you're in a world of hurt when you're my age. I know. I'm ancient."

How to solve boredom:
From Jeff to Jonas: "You're bored? Walk around the table 100 times. Count how many steps it takes to complete one rotation."
To Jeff from Jonas: "Uhm. Ok."
From Jeff to Jonas: "How many steps did it take you?"
To Jeff from Jonas: "16. 16 steps to get around. I'm tired."
From Jeff to Jonas: "Ok, so 16 steps to walk around the table. And you walked around it 100 times. How many steps did you take in all?"
To Jeff from Jonas: "Really? It's Saturday dad."
To both from Aden: "1,600 steps!"
To Aden from Me: "Hey! You aren't supposed to give the answer."
From Jonas: "1,600 steps."
From Jeff to Jonas: "Ok. So 1600 steps took you 20 minutes. So if you walked around the table for 4 hours, how many steps would it take and how many times did you go around the table?"
To Jeff from Jonas: "I'm not bored anymore."

Aden: "I watched some girl fall on the snow today. It was funny."
Me: "Ouch. Is she ok?"
Aden: "Hello? It's snow. It's soft white stuff..."
Me: "Mind taking the trash out?"
Aden takes the trash out, comes in with tears in his eyes.
Me: "What happened.?"
Aden: "I fell in the snow."
Me: "You mean the white, soft stuff?"
Aden: "Now's not the time for a life lesson! I hurt my elbow!"

Jonas: "You NEVER let us do ANYthing!!"
Me: "Well, that's not true. You really shouldn't exaggerate. I let you put your clothes away. And I let you take the trash out."

Little boy down the street rings the door bell and asks if the boys can come out to play.
"Not right now, their gloves are still drying. They'll be out in an hour or so."
"Glad to hear they are allowed out today."
"Yes. The parole board was in a good mood today."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fairytales, Prince Charming, and a Power Suit!

Perhaps I've watched one too many Disney movies with Miss Nyla. Maybe, I missed out on the girliness that was not me until I had a daughter. Instead of running around in Tinkerbell costumes and tiaras, I wore ripped jeans and flannels. Instead of staying inside playing with Barbies and babies, I was out and about discovering what this earth had to offer us: grasshoppers, tadpoles, frogs, rocks, fossils, leaves, sticks, and oh yes, dirt. Maybe, I've been at home too long that I've lost sight of what the "real world" really is.
But, maybe, just maybe, I've finally figured out what I want in life. Finally, at 33 almost 34 years old, I have had that epiphany that will forever change my life. Perhaps, I've known all along, but have been too unselfish to voice it. Well here I am. I'm voicing it.


There, I've said it. I want it all. I want everything. That's what I want out of life: everything.
For many that could mean a plethora of things and/or ideas. Some may think wanting it all could mean the house, the yard, the 2.5 kids, the career, the status, the car, the clothes, etc., etc. For me, it's not any of that.
As a military spouse and stay at home mom, I've always felt that I was doing right by my husband and my children, but somehow, someway, I wasn't doing right by myself. And I though that perhaps, if I did right by myself, that I wouldn't do right by my family.
While looking at colleges now that my Miss Nyla will be venturing off to Kindergarten next year, I become frustrated because everything I want to be doesn't allow me to the be ever-available mother that I have been for the last 12 years. It doesn't allow me the normal nine-to-five hours. It doesn't allow me to be the parent who picks up the slack for a deploying better half. It doesn't allow me the still avidly check my email for any news from my deployed spouse. It doesn't allow for us to keep our one vehicle.
But what does it allow? It allows for me a career, something that has always been near and dear to my heart since I was a little girl. I didn't want to grow up to be a princess or a queen. No, I wanted to be a career woman. And, up until the lovebug bit me in 1997, I was on that path.
I know what you're thinking: single women have been doing that for years. That working moms do this all the time. That women have been out of the kitchen and in the books since the sixties. But you forget. I said, "I want it all."
I'm tired of settling. Settling in life. Not just in my career and parenting choices. I'm done settling in my lifestyle, in my marriage, in my life. I'm tired of saying, "I can't because...(I don't have a babysitter, my husband's deploying, money is tight this week, Aden's grounded, Nyla doesn't behave well in public, Jonas can't control his excitement, that means I have to get dressed today)." Well you know what, I can. And I will. Yes, I'll go to this event. And YES, I'll volunteer for that. Absolutely, I can do (insert whatever is asked here). I've made excuses for so long over why I cannot do things that it's just natural for me to decline. Getting out of my shell is what I need. I used to be this outgoing social butterfly. I've grown into this recluse.
I want my husband to sweep me off my feet...everyday. I want to not just know that I am loved, desired, and irreplaceable. I want to feel it. No. I need to feel it. I don't want to waste my life going through the motions. I don't want to be too wrapped up in kids, school, pets, cleaning, laundry, and day to day activities that it takes a special occassion like deployment or homecoming for him to make me feel what I need to feel EVERYday. Don't get me wrong. Jeff is a wonderful husband. He cooks, he cleans. Hey, he even does windows and laundry. He's a fantastic father, I couldn't have asked for better. He'll do anything I ask of him. But I want to do the laundry and have him play the part of Prince Charming.  I'm not saying I want flowers and jewelry and spoiled each and every day of my life. I am saying that I want him to hold me when I push him away. I want him to fight to hang on to me when I need it rather than letting me be. I don't want to have to ask for it. I want him to know me so well that he just does it. I want to be the housekeeper and him the big, strong man who comes home, sweeps me off my feet, and plants the passionate kiss that make tweens swoon. I need passion in my life.
I want it all. And Why can't I? Where is it in the rules that says I cannot? Why can't I have my cake and eat it too? Why can't I be the mom, wife, volunteer, bread winner, best friend, counselor, shoulder, domestic goddess, and overall super woman? I can be. And I will be.
My life will be over in a flash of light and what will I have left behind? What will I have experienced? What will I have taught my children? What kind of wife will I have been? What kind of life will I have lead? Life, is way too short to not have it all. When my time comes and death is knocking (or breaking down) my door, I want to smile and be able to say, "It's time." It's time for me to go. I've accomplished everything in life I wanted and I've led the life I wanted.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

OPSEC - what is it and why do you need to follow it...

If you're a military spouse, you've heard this one time or another: Observe OPSEC. What exactly is it?
How far is too far and what is allowed? Can I tell my mom on the telephone where my husband is going next? Why won't the FRG or Ombudsman tell me where my husband is? What can I say to my next door neighbor about my wife's deployment? Can I or when is it safe to give out ship's movement information, such as Homecoming. What can my children tell their classmates and/or teacher when they ask questions about their military lifestyle?
Some people go to extreme, while others don't take it serious enough. Some folks believe that nothing outside of the military community should be said at all. While others believe it's okay to tell close friends and family information. What information is allowed, what information isn't?
OPSEC has been the butt of many spouse to spouse and active to active quarrels in recent years. With all the terroristic threats and security operations occurring in each branch and civilian contractors, worldwide, it puts us military families on edge. Especially when we know our spouses are in tenative danger, but from what, exactly, we aren't sure. While some spouses understand the need to keep their sailors, soldiers, and airmen safe, others don't understand why they aren't allowed to know (or give out) information because afterall, they aren't a terrorist themselves.
And here's the kicker that many folks don't understand, nor follow: Just because one member of military is included in the circle of knowledge, doesn't mean another should be included just because he has the security clearance. Meaning, if my husband has a top secret clearance and wasn't in the brief, the guy with the secret clearance who was included in the brief shouldn't tell my husband what the information was about. If my husband is to be privy to that information, he would have been included in the brief.

So, what is it and how can I abide by it?? Here are 5 easy steps to make sure you are following OPSEC:

OPSEC involves a relatively simple five-step process that anyone can use.
- Identify critical information. The information you have that could assist an adversary in any way.

- Analyze the threat to that information. Does an adversary have the capability to collect or use the information, and if so, how?

- Analyze the vulnerabilities. How is the critical information relayed in the course of your daily duties and how is it protected?

- Assess the risk. How likely is it that the information could be compromised?

- Develop countermeasures. What can you do to protect the information from being disclosed?
Taken from the website. Public information.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Technologically Unprepared

As a parent to three children, I often spend days, if not weeks or months, thinking about my parenting. Some call it over-analyzing. So be it. I am terrified that something will happen to my kids and that I could have stopped it. I do everything I can to keep them safe. Whether that means they don't walk up to the 7-11 on the main road with their friends (who seem to have parental units that are pretty free-willed with their rules) or them not allowed on the internet until I fully understand all the security options and setups.

I recently caved on a few techological fronts. I call it "caved" because I'm still not comfortable with the decisions. We finally gave our kids internet access. They have their on computer (my old pc) so that they aren't on my own baby (if there's one thing I get to myself, it's my computer. It was specifically built to my own needs and I will blow a gasket if anything ever happens to it.). But, before we gave in, I asked my husband to put in place the following options:
  • Only preapproved websites be allowed to be viewed. If anything other than preapproved sites are brought up, a password must be entered.
  • History of each website to include time and date always be visible.
  • I am still the administrator of said computer.
And there are rules to gaining computer time. All chores and homework must be accomplished before computer time is given. Behavior must be more than satisfactory. AND, because most of the time, Aden has homework on the internet, all long-hand homework must be completed first. Computer time, minus homework, is only 30 minutes regardless if it is simply a pc program they are playing or surfing the internet. The other requirements are simple to me, but may not be clear as to why to the kids:
  • Never use your real name.
  • Never tell anyone where you live.
  • Never give out personal information.
The first couple of months seemed to go smoothly. We even extended computer time to a few hours over Christmas break. The only person who seemed to have a problem with the rules was Nyla. But that's because she's four and not quite internet savvy. (We caught her shopping at with a bunch of things in her shopping cart. I have my credit cards on lockdown. haha)
Then yesterday, Aden comes home and asks if he can join a website that is like Facebook but it's for kids. My overprotective mind immediately said, "Absolutely not." It breaks the rules: no real name, no personal information. I know how to protect my information on Facebook, but does he? I refuse to let my child, who is 11 mind you, have a facebook account. One, it breeds drama in school aged children. Two, it brings another issue I'm not ready to have to deal with: Technological Bullying. Three, he's ELEVEN. Even Facebook states one has to be at least 13 years old to have an account.
I know a lot of people who let their kids have facebook and/or myspace accounts. And that's fine...for them. Not for my children. No. Absolutely not.
So I went to the site. It's called Kidswirl. Members have to be between the ages of 2 and 12. Tell me, what two year old knows how to navigate a social website?? Anyway, it seems to be ok. But still, I'm not sure about it. I will definetly have to discuss this with my husband and investigate the site further.

I swore, up and down, sideways, and forwards and back - my child would NEVER have a cell phone until he or she was old enough to have a job and pay for it themselves. He begged and begged for his own cell phone. Logically, we declined. There is no need for it. He doesn't use the house phone. He doesn't call anyone. All of his friends live within a block from our home. Why is there a need for a cell phone?
Some people claim they do it for the protection of their children. While I don't buy that, I do buy that it is a better peace of mind. I am not liberal with my nine and eleven year old's boundaries outside of this house. They are allowed outside without my supervision, however, they do need to check in, often. They aren't allowed past the park - which is a tiny playground four houses down from us - nor past the last house on our block - yet another four houses in the opposite direction. They must ask before entering a friend's house. I must know that parent. There are all types of rules I put in place simply for their safety.
So I caved. This past Christmas, my son, 11, received his first cell phone. My husband and I chose to add him to our family plan versus a prepay for a number of reasons. It was cheaper. However, I am always in control of his phone this way. Even if he were to delete his call history, I can still see it on detailed billing. It doesn't go to school because his school has strict rules against cell phones in school, even if it is off. His boundaries are extended, only if he has his cell on him. And he must still check in, in person.
So far, it's working. However, it is only a status symbol. Him and his cell. I hadn't realized that before.

I often look to my own upbringing to decide when my children are old enough to do this, that, or the other. And often, I fail because when I was growing up, we didn't have computers and cell phones. Hell, I didn't even have cable until I was 15 years old.
I'm sure our parents said it, and here I am saying it again, kids grow up way too fast these days. I was 23 years old when I received my first cell phone. It was something I paid for, not my parents. I was 22 when I got my first computer. Again, I paid for it, not my parents. And I'm still not techologically smart. I still have to look things up and work hard to understand a lot of things.